The Wolverine Nordic Village is a special place located near Ironwood, MI in the heart of the Upper Peninsula. Robert Alleva, an avid skier and outdoorsman, owns the “village.” He designed and built the complex, so that others could enjoy the fresh air and scenic surroundings of the North Country.
According to Alleva, “The Village come alive, when coaches bring young people together to learn, train, and participate in outdoor activities.”
During the weekend of August 7-9, 2015, the Wolverine Nordic Village was the host for a very successful Igor Legacy Camp. Over 25 athletes, from ten different Midwest teams, came together as one big team – the CXC Igor Legacy Team – to learn about skiing and training, to make new “ski” friends, and have fun.
“The Village quickly sprang to life! “The athletes were excited, energized, and pumped-up about Nordic skiing from the moment they arrived until they were packed and headed homeward.” Proclaimed to CXC Coach Bruce Manske,
The Ironwood camp was the final Igor Legacy Camp of the summer; the first camp was heldhelp in Iola, Wisconsin in June and the second camp was in Bemidji, Minnesota in July. The goals for each camp included promoting fun and fitness, learning Nordic movement patterns, and to create an enthusiasm for Nordic skiing as a life-long sport, for young (ages 9-14) athletes.
Athletes arrived at camp on Friday afternoon. The first order of business was to assign cabins and settle into the surroundings of the Upper Peninsula. During the camp’s opening ceremony, each athlete collected an Igor Camp T-shirt and swag, met the coaching staff, and reviewed the schedule ahead. Jim Mullen, a sports medicine physician and CXC Masters Team member briefed the group on flexibility, mobility, and the benefits of running for skiers, before staging a 1-mile time trial, an out and back course, on a rural road near the Wolverine Nordic Village. The evening activities included a chicken dinner with watermelon, a stimulating game of Polo in the stadium of the Wolverine Nordic Ski Trail, along with an Igor Legacy presentation and ice cream cones.
A cool morning breeze, a fresh coating of dew, and the smells of fall greeted athletes during their 7:00 AM Saturday wake-up call. Coach Kris Hanson lead the crew on a 3-kilometer run to the end of Lookout Lane, followed by a balance and stretching regimen lead by Jim and Kieran Mullen. After a hearty breakfast, the morning workout included classic rollerskiing, plus a strength circuit. The rollerskiing was a truly exciting for the coaches, because it was the first time classic rollerskiing for many of these young athletes.
After lunch, Coach Bruce Manske gave a short presentation on the importance of Nordic ski training levels and training hours. The afternoon workout started with ski walking, striding, and bounding, on the hills surrounding the Village; concluding with a dryland agility challenge. Coach Kris Hanson is an expert on designing rollerski agility courses. On this course, she utilized nine of her favorite agility and balance drills to layout an obstacle type challenge for the athletes and coaches to test their speed and dexterity on roller skis.
The evening meal featured a tasty treat from the Upper Peninsula, Bread of Life pasties, and a delightful salad. Although the day was full and tiring, these young athletes still had plenty of energy for an evening outdoor game orchestrated by Jim and Kieran Mullen. The evening ended, with a presentation titled Teamwork, a teamwork poetry contest, and more ice cream treats.
The Blue Mound Nordic Ski Team rappers are the winners of the August Igor Legacy Camp Poetry Contest in Ironwood. – Watch the Video!
Sunday morning began with an easy warm-up jog, and a stretching routine; followed by a training session focused on skate rollerskiing. Athletes were divided into four groups, and completed four stations: V1 technique, V2 and Alternate, a free-skate stations, and the highlight of the morning, Coach Kris Hanson’s rollerski agility course. The skate rollerski session was fun and rewarding for both the athletes and the coaches.
During lunch, and as the skiers began to pack their gear for the trip home, a common theme was boasted by coaches and parents,
“It is inspiring to see the confidence of the skier, as they progressed through each of the rollerski agility stations.”
Coach Bruce Manske added, “The agility courses, both dryland and rollerski, become the format for teaching movement, balance, and agility skills. It was awesome to see the improvements, made by each athlete, throughout the weekend.”
A few August Camp HIGHLIGHTS:
Our host: Wolverine Nordic Village – Thanks Bob, and Debbie too!
Our sponsors: WNDG, ABSF, CXC, FinnSisu, OutThere Nordic
Our head coaches: Kris Hanson, Jim Mullen, and Michael Young
The taste of the Upper Peninsula: The pasties were awesome!
The venue: the “village” is a great location for a camp and the new paved trails were a treat too!
The schedule: yes indeed, we kept everyone moving, moving, and moving…Thanks Igor!
The rollerskiing: it was the first time rollerskiing for many athletes – and, they loved it!
The coaches and parents: a great mix of talent and knowledge
A special THANKS and HIGH-FIVES to the coaches and parents that helped throughout the weekend to make this camp successful and special:
Kris and Bjorn Hanson – Out There Nordic and Chippewa Valley Nordic
Jewel Market – Barron Nordic Ski Team
Bob Peterson – Barron Nordic Ski Team
Paulette Noemi – Team Gogebic
Sandra Pera – Team Gogebic
Brad Kooistra – Blue Mound Nordic Ski Team
Ben Lizdas – Ice Age Nordic Ski Team
Amy Okan – St. Croix Valley Nordic Ski Club
Jeanne Craig – Lakeland Nordic Ski Team
Miriam Case – Lakeland Nordic Ski Team
Jim Mullen – Lakeland Nordic Ski Team
Kieran Mullen – Lakeland Nordic Ski Team
Michael Young – Houghton Ski Tigers
Bruce Manske, CXC Sports Development Coordinator
Irina Komarova – CXC Webmaster and Registration
Yuriy Gusev – CXC Executive Director
Bruce Manske, CXC Sport Development Coordinator
If your community or club is interested in hosting an Igor Legacy Camp next summer, please feel free to contact Bruce Manske at firstname.lastname@example.org